Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mexican-Style Fruit Salad with Grilled or Broiled Fish

Tonight we went on a walk to witness the solar eclipse… there wasn’t much to witness, to our disappointment, because it was so cloudy. We watched the news when we got home and heard that we wouldn’t have really seen it anyway because the best views are in areas in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Northern California. Bummer! The last time I saw a solar eclipse was when I was in 5th grade (I think…).
On the way back from our walk, we saw an accident up the road that involved three cars. Fortunately, no one was hurt. DFJ was very curious and wanted to go up to the scene and gawk… gape, analyze what happened, and gape some more. Yeah, he’s a kid at heart. A very well-dressed man, who was the unfortunate victim of a reckless driver, came up to us with a sheepish smile on his face. It took me a while to realize that I knew who he was… the owner of the gym that we go to. Small world! Since he also teaches classes there, he’s usually dressed in workout clothes when I see him, so seeing him somewhere other than the gym, at an accident site nonetheless, was totally unexpected. Plus, my eyesight is terrible. He explained what happened and we found out that the lady who hit him did not see the red light and ended up crashing into him and another car as they were going. Hmmm... maybe she was too busy trying to look at the eclipse and forgot to pay attention. That lady was lucky she hit a nice guy. My gym owner had such grace during a terrible encounter and I am so proud of him for that and so glad he was not hurt at all.  
Lesson learned: be extra careful and mindful when driving and fight the auto-pilot mode!     
Let’s talk food now… So, this week’s Food Matter’s Project dish, Mexican-Style Fruit Salad with Grilled or Broiled Fish, was chosen by Sarah of Food and Frederick. For the original Mark Bittman recipe, visit her blog and make sure to read her delicious recipes and some stories about her sweet life. Don’t forget to check out what other FMP members did with this recipe too, you’re definitely going to be in for a surprise. I always am!
For the fish, I settled for 3 fillets of snapper and did exactly what Bittman says to. I drizzled both sides of the snapper fillets with olive oil then tossed on pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper on each side. The fillets were then broiled in the oven for 8 minutes and it came out perfect. Mark Bittman teaches us to cook fish the way it should be… no fuss, no extra additives, just plain and simple with oil, salt, and pepper. The fish was soft, moist, and made special served on a bed of sweet and spicy, fruit salad. Don’t forget to squeeze a bit of lemon on top for an extra boost of flavor, it is essential! A perfect accompaniment to the dish was the side of Spanish rice that I made as per DFJ’s suggestion.

This meal, along with my delicious margarita, made me feel like I was sitting on an outdoor restaurant, enjoying a beautiful sunset in a gorgeous tropical island… feeling young, sunkissed, happy, carefree, and relishing a fantastic dinner with a dashing date. Need I say more? Make this dish, then you’ll see I’m not delusional!      

Mexican Fruit Salad 
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s, Mexican-Style Fruit Salad with Grilled or Broiled Fish, The Food Matters Cookbook

1 large, ripe, yellow mango, cut in cubes
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 large navel orange (3/4 of it peeled and chopped)
juice of ¼ of the navel orange
1 jalapeno, minced 

½ cup fresh herbs: 
4 tbsp chopped basil, loosely packed
3 tbsp chopped cilantro, loosely packed
2 tbsp chopped mint, loosely packed 

In a medium size bowl, mix together mango cubes, chopped strawberries, and chopped orange pieces. Squeeze fresh orange juice and stir everything together well. Mix in jalapeno and fresh herbs. Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving to allow flavors to settle.

Spanish Rice 
 Adapted from, Spanish Rice II,
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
½ orange bell pepper, chopped
1, 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
1 ½ cup water
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt

Heat olive oil in a medium size pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, throw in the rice, onion, and bell pepper. Stir until the rice is slightly browned and the onion and bell pepper are soft, about two minutes.
Pour in the diced tomatoes and water. Stir in chili powder, cumin, cayenne, paprika, and salt. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. After it boils, turn the heat down to medium low and cook until rice is done, about 22-24 minutes.  

This meal was amazing… fish cooked the right way and served on top of a fiesta of fruit flavors, with a side of flavorful Spanish rice.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great week my friends! Soak up some sun, take a walk, go for a run, do some yoga, read a book, watch a favorite show, relax… do something nice for yourself and smile that beautiful smile!


  1. I love how we made such a similar fruit salad! And I totally agree with your thoughts on Bittman's food mentality. It's all very simple and fresh!

  2. I used mango as well. Mango always works. Your salad is a beauty. Rice is a wonderful side.

  3. Our fruit salads looked very similar, great minds must think alike ;-). I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe, you're definitely not delusional. This dish definitely had me imagining some sand between my toes haha. And thank you so much for the sweet compliment about my blog!

  4. Oh, that textured has me filled with wonderful possibilities!

  5. You cooked your fish perfectly and I love the salsa combo.

  6. Great combination of herbs! I never would have thought of combining mint with basil and cilantro, but I'll bet it works.

  7. What a delicious combination! I could eat your fruit salad right off the page :-)

  8. This looks great! I love learning new fish recipes. Great post!

  9. I love this meal. The fish looks great, the salsa delish, some spanish rice and a margarita? I'm in! Such a good reminder about being on auto-pilot. Thanks :)

  10. What a pretty, pretty dish! And that's so cool that you got to see the eclipse.

  11. And I just realized my previous comment rhymed. :)

  12. I love mango and strawberry together. I could eat that fruit salad for breakfast for days and be perfectly content!

  13. Holy moly busy bee! This looks incredible! For some weird reason, I have never tried strawberry and mango together. Every other combination, sure. But one that looks this delicious and summery? I need to try this out!
    I also tried watching the solar eclipse, but experienced the same thing: cloudy! Ugh!

  14. Looks delicious! Makes me wish I had made this recipe, but it'll have to wait until we go pick some strawberries later this week! Can't wait.

  15. Margarita I don't know what to choose from all these beautiful dishes you made. Can I take them all?

  16. I am actually craving this dish right now. Sigh, guess I have to wait lol


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